While emergency childbirth is very rare, pregnant women and their families should know what to do in case of imminent birth and access to birthing facility is not possible. It is important to be prepared. However, it is important to remember that while the birthing process is a natural act, it is not a “do-it-yourself” task. This article provides only general information and should not be used to substitute the knowledge and skills of health professional.
Call for help
If you think you are going into labor, try to get the nearest birthing facility. If it is not possible, call your local emergency number and ask for help. Make sure the front door of your house is unlocked so that emergency service can get in easily. Call a friend or neighbor to help you out.
If you have attended childbirth education process or it is not your first pregnancy, you probably know the different breathing techniques that you should do through the each stage of labor. Make sure you perform these breathing techniques so that the contractions and descent of the baby can proceed normally. In most cases, the emergency dispatch operator can “talk you through” the labor process and birth. Do not hang up the phone unless you are instructed to do so. Remain calm and avoid panicking.
If you are proceeding in labor very fast and the travel conditions can delay transfer to the birthing facility, stay at home. Choose a safe place rather than the back seat of the car. Fast labors often proceed normally, with the mother and the child both doing well. On the other hand, slow labors should give you enough time to travel to the birthing facility or for a healthcare professional to come to you.
The success of emergency childbirth depends on many factors that include availability of birthing supplies and the skill of the helper or responder. It is recommended that pregnant women prepare an emergency childbirth kit as soon as they come full term. However, the ultimate goal should be to avoid emergency childbirth by going to the birthing facility before the estimated date of delivery.
Key points for emergency childbirth
It is recommended that all parents-to-be attend childbirth education classes, breastfeeding classes, and infant or child CPR trainings. St Mark James Training offers these trainings in a number of different first aid and CPR courses.
The family car should also be in good running condition and is filled with gas. In case you need to have emergency home delivery and access to the birthing facility is not possible, call for an ambulance or your physician/midwife. Ask someone to stay with you and help you.
Meanwhile, as helper, your task is to provide encouragement to the woman. Stay calm, caring and positive throughout the birthing process. Assist the woman with her needs while waiting for emergency help to arrive.